Euro 2020: UEFA won’t allow Germany to lit up Allianz Arena in Rainbow colors

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The European football governing body, UEFA, has refused to allow the authorities in Munich to lit up the entire external area of Allianz Arena in Rainbow color ahead of the Euro 2020 Group match between Germany and Hungary.

The authorities in Munich, the city where the stadium is located planned to lit up the stadium in rainbow colors to promote diversity and inclusion in the world. It is also believed that the mayor of the city, Dieter Reiter requested to lit up the stadium in protest against a new law in Hungary which banned the sharing of any content promoting homosexuality and gender change to under-18s.

Aside from that, Hungary is one of the countries in Europe that does not legally support same-sex marriage or any other forms of gay practice.

Hence, the Germany vs Hungary Euro 2020 Group F match which is scheduled to kick off at 20:00 on Wednesday was seen as an opportunity to pass a message to the Hungarian government that the German government was not happy with their homophobic policies.

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But UEFA feels it would be too political if it should allow the authorities in Munich to lit up a stadium in which Hungary are playing their Euro 2020 group game, in rainbow color. Hence, the European football governing body decided to decline the request of the German authorities.

Euro 2020: UEFA won't allow Germany to lit up Allianz Arena in Rainbow colors
Allianz Arena in Munich is built in such a way that the external area of the stadium can be lit in different dimensions of colors.

However, UEFA gave the authority of the city the go-ahead to lit up the stadium on either June 28 – the Christopher Street Liberation Day – or between 3-9 July which is the Christopher Street Day week in Munich.

The football governing body said: “Uefa understands that the intention is also to send a message to promote diversity and inclusion – a cause, which Uefa has been supporting for many years – having joined forces with European clubs, national teams, and their players, launching campaigns and plenty of activities all over Europe to promote the ethos that football should be open to everyone.

“And consequently, Uefa has proposed alternative dates for the illumination which align better with existing events.

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“Racism, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies – and represent one of the biggest problems faced by the game today. Discriminatory behavior has marred both matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.”

In reaction to UEFA’s decision to stop Germany from lighting up the stadium, Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto said: “Thank God that in the circles of European football leadership, common sense still prevails and they did not play along with the political provocation.

“I think, no, I can say that the leadership of Uefa made the right decision when they decided not to play along with the political provocation against Hungary.”

The goalkeeper of the German national team, Manuel Neuer flaunting the rainbow armband during a match in Euro 2020.
The goalkeeper of the German national team, Manuel Neuer flaunting the rainbow armband during a match in Euro 2020.

Even though UEFA did not permit the Munich authority to lit up the stadium in rainbow color, the goalkeeper of the German national team, Manuel Neuer, would continue to wear the rainbow armband in the Euro 2020 campaign in solidarity with the LGBT movement.

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